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Trout in the Classroom

We feel that one of the most effective ways to promote fisheries conservation in the future is to get the children of our communities (the voting citizens of tomorrow) involved in fisheries issues and the long-term sustainability of the fisheries. Education programs are an excellent way to accomplish this.

Tri-Valley Fly Fishers Program History and Accomplishments

Our “signature” project is participation in the California Department of Fish & Wildlife Trout in the Classroom program in which students raise trout from fertilized eggs in their classrooms in TVFF-donated aquariums. TVFF supports the program with over 30 classrooms throughout the Bay Area, and as an original Bay Area founder of the program, has educated over 40,000 students with this key program. Of particular note is the contributions and leadership that Darrell Bridgeman offered in initiating and promoting this program throughout the Bay Area and other fly fishing organizations.

TVFF's Trout In the Classroom (TIC) program provides a unique experience for students attending our local schools. They are given the opportunity to witness Rainbow Trout hatch right before their eyes in a special aquarium located in their own classroom. Students monitor the fish’s progress as they develop, start swimming in search of food and exploring their new environment. Teachers supplement the experience with related classroom curriculum and activities based on science, math, and environmental issues. The experience is culminated with a field trip to a local reservoir where the students bid their precious little pets farewell, grant them their freedom and wish them a happy life, as they watch with obvious emotion as their little aquatic friends swim away.

The TIC program is offered to classrooms at little or no cost to the school districts. TVFF members manage the program as sponsors on a voluntary basis. They provide technical expertise, assistance and support for the teachers, and usually supply the aquariums and all related equipment. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife regulates the program and provides the trout eggs. Dedicated and enthusiastic classroom teachers are the heart of the program. They are required to participate in a workshop where they learn about the fish, its life cycle its habitat and related requirements, the aquarium, plus relevant classroom curriculum and related activities.

The program has proven to be a very effective teaching tool; the teacher’s love it and the students learn a lot about the fish and what they need to survive in the wild. They form an emotional bond with the fish, and soon start to develop a responsible stewardship role for their fish. TVFF started offering the program, on a trial basis, in local classrooms about 10 years ago in a couple of classrooms. The program proved to be very successful and has grown in popularity ever since.

It has expanded to now include 35 classrooms, and continues to grow each new season. The best part is that it is providing a wonderful experience and special learning opportunity for a lot of kids that they would not otherwise have an experience with. TVFF members are proud to sponsor such a great program, and are richly rewarded by the enthusiastic attitudes of the students when they express their gratitude and appreciation for this special opportunity. It is an experience they will remember for years to come.

Key detailed elements of the program are provided below. If you desire to participate in the program or implement the program in your child’s classroom please contact Daniel Kitts at

TIC Documents

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